Education Montana Politics

DirecTV Incentives total $22,500 per job

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Matt Singer already did a nice piece about the lack of real benefit to Missoula from the “economic development” package that brought 900 jobs to Missoula.

Now the AP is reporting that each of those jobs cost $22,500:

The nearly $18 million economic development package offered to DirecTV to bring 800 call center jobs here provides $22,500 per job, more than the $19,760 a full-time employee making the $9.50 an hour starting wage would earn in a year.

Dick King, head of the Missoula Area Economic Development Corp., said it is a generous package, but it’s worth it.

‘‘Our issue is not unemployment, but underemployment,’’ King said. ‘‘We need to get the right company to push up from the bottom. I think this is it.’’

DirecTV received consideration for the package — which includes low interest loans, grants and money for training — because of its benefits, despite the fact that its starting wage is below the county’s median wage of $12.06.

So, $22,500 per job that is below the county’s median wage with marginally better health benefits? Given the atrocious state of Missoula’s schools, one wonders if a real investment in the community might not have been a more sensible approach.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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